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Thursday
Sep152011

Barney Frank Calls for Less Bank Industry Influence at Federal Reserve

United States Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Add Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., to a growing list of politicians who don't like how the Federal Reserve operates.

The congressman who helped co-write the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Thursday proposed a bill that would require the Senate to confirm all members of the Federal Open Market Committee, a group of 12 policymakers who are responsible for setting interest rates.

Currently, the FOMC consists of seven politically appointed Fed governors and five regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents. Some, like Frank, believe that the banking industry holds too much power on the committee.

But others have sharply criticized Frank's proposal and worry that such changes would turn the Fed, whose decisions have a profound impact on the pace of the economy, into a politically motivated body.

"The end result of this bill would be to further politicize the conduct of monetary policy, which is the last thing our economy needs right now," said Spencer Bachus, chairman of the Republican controlled House Financial Services Committee, in a statement.

And many experts agree with Bachus. Interest rates set by the Fed have a direct impact on the amount of money commercial banks can lend, and the fear is that politicians with agendas could attempt to influence monetary policy, especially during an election year.

Many politicians have recently focused their Fed attacks on the central bank's Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Sarah Palin made a comment suggesting that Bernanke “cease and desist,” and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry called the chairman's activities "treasonous," recently promising to deny Bernanke another term if elected.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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